Good thing we came! Four days in Buenos Aires


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"Sometimes it seems that you are in Madrid." "They call it South American Paris." "When you walk through San Telmo you will feel in Naples." He is a mathematician: as soon as you say that you are going to Buenos Aires, everyone who has been starts looking for similes to make you see that … that is a sort of Frankenstein of the Old World.

And skinny favor - oh, skinny - they do it, because Buenos Aires may look like everything … but nothing looks like it. Beautiful without makeup, dancer, so everywhere and so yours, the capital wants to make it clear that it does not need paragon. And that's why we went. And that's why … how good we came.

Buenos Aires Pasaje de la Defensa

Detail of a chorizo ​​house, today the Pasaje de la Defensa commercial gallery, in San Telmo. © Álvaro Laiz

Here, then, the summary of just over 96 hours stretched like Argentine pizza cheese thanks to our effort to devour everything without truce and, ugly is to deny it, to a handful of great Buenos Aires friends eager to not let us step on the hotel (azo) Not to sleep.

Yes, hotel. Arriving at Faena at the same time as the sun and receiving a swimming pool with a sparkling crown of Princess Disney as a source is a warning that we have not come here to sleep too much.

We are in Puerto Madero, the neighborhood with which the city finally decided to look at the Río de la Plata at the blow of skyscrapers, docks and cosmopolitan atmosphere. The perfect place to go to Buenos Aires and not find out what Buenos Aires is, that too.

Buenos Aires Coctelería Presidente

Seba García in his cocktail bar, President. © Álvaro Laiz


After leaving the "oasis" of the Faena, traffic, chaos, fun after all, begins aboard a taxi to Parrilla Don Julio . Why wait any longer.

Considered the best steakhouse restaurant in the city for countless reputable guides and, most importantly, for any good porter of Buenos Aires, it started as a family tavern and today, thanks to Pablo Rivero's efforts, it has its own pasture cattle, Hereford breeds and Aberdeen Angus, refrigeration and maturation chamber - short, here the fashion of extreme ripening is neither wanted nor understood -, an orchard to offer the excellent vegetables that accompany the cuts and a harvesting system that includes the use of fats for Cosmetic or bones for gelatin.

Buenos Aires Florería Atlántico

Plant street of the Atlantic Florist. © Álvaro Laiz

Little did this wheel spin with us: we polish each dish, those sublime gizzards - the best in the world? -, the foal sausage, the entrails with roasted tomato … accompanied by all of one of the 12, 800 Argentine bottles that occupy the winery : Concrete 2016, from Zuccardi; A postcard Malbec.

The necessary walk comes after the first milk candy of the trip, the first of a thousand. "Everything is better with dulce de leche, " Anabella repeats like a mantra.

We travel through Palermo, one of the most famous neighborhoods of the 48 that make up the city and with an endless number of surnames according to what blocks you climb: Palermo Soho, Palermo Hollywood, Palermo Chico, Palermo Viejo …

It is in the first where the hipster globalization has left more mark : waxed mustache barbers, #TT burgers like Williamsburg, vintage stores, craft beers, sustainable coffees and terraces in which to take a Cynar Grapefruit or two. Or three. Or four.

Ok, in the end there were a few more, but all because of El Universal, a cultural bar-theater-garden that Delfina Ayerza and Emilia Romero took us to, a cultural lawyer and editor of Arte-Blogarte, an association dedicated to collecting and collecting dissemination of Argentine contemporary art with a presence in ARCO Madrid.

Buenos Aires El Universal

Cultural space El Universal. © Álvaro Laiz


There is no way to dodge it. Recoleta cemetery is a must stop yes or yes, well known by Buenos Aires: it is the most visited place in the city and pilgrimage mecca for the followers of Evita Perón, many of them Yankees who are not clear who came first, if General's wife or Madonna.

Indeed, this sacred place impresses, but not so much for Evita's modest tomb as for the architecture of many of its pantheons and the prices that reach the square meter.

Seen the souvenir, a walk along the elegant Alvear Avenue makes it clear that whoever had, retained. The Ortiz Basualdo Palace, now an embassy of France, that of Brazil, that was once the residence of the Pereda, the Jockey Club or the Four Seasons hotel, with its attached mansion-bombonera, called La Mansion, shade other very interesting style buildings rationalist of the mid-twentieth century.

From the rational to the not so much, we go out after the cocktails that ring in Buenos Aires and, after a stop at Pony Line, the Four Seasons cocktail bar - whose swimming pool embedded between imposing buildings would be the delirium of Slim Aarons - and a perfectly bitter Creole Zainete (Fernet Nero, rosemary, oil Saccharum of lemon, Jerez and soda), we arrived at President .

Buenos Aires Narda Comedor

Burrata with figs and tomatoes and a pomelada in Narda Dining room. © Álvaro Laiz

The temple of the bartender Sebas García . Messi's favorite bar. The place where, they say, Máxima de Holanda always has its reserved room. Grandson of Galicians, Sebas speaks with passion of Diego Cabrera, a Buenos Aires who triumphs by removing his Salmon Guru from Madrid but who controls what is cooked in his land.

Cabrera also knows that, in addition to President, where we are going with an idem (mythical Cuban cocktail made with Bacardi rum, dried Martini, orange and grenadine liqueur), a tiradito and some nigiris stalls, there is a fundamental place in the map of the best cocktail bars in the world: Atlantic Florist .

A flower shop that hides the laboratory of Tato Giovannoni on the ground floor, where the menu goes by countries or by negronis, that is, where you doubt between asking for a Monterey Amaro with Cynar and laurel and pistachio soda (Italy) or a Ballestrini, Prince of the Apostles negroni, Campari, Averna, eucalyptus, pine nuts and seawater. Where you end up asking for everything. Where … to sleep.


Upon arrival we promised a future of Buenos Aires, authentic and away from the cliché. And in those we were, but is that … the Buenos Aires love the greasy pizzas of Corrientes street, love the choripán (by the way, Chori, in Palermo Soho: essential), love Maradona, love (or not) Evita, love the soccer, he loves to read Cortázar and Borges and he loves to take you everywhere: “This, no, Caminito don't go. But hey, you have to go, you have to see La Boca. ”

Buenos Aires Hotel Faena

Views from the garden of the Faena Hotel. © Álvaro Laiz

Said and done. The day begins in Dorrego Square, epicenter of the San Telmo neighborhood and a happy place to have coffee.

Decadent, bohemian, tourist and polyglot … here you can find antique shops, cobbled tango streets and chorizo ​​houses, inspired by Roman houses but with a vertical cut that makes them a succession of courtyards and small corridors that unite them, hence the name: they are like a string.

Owned by wealthy families, the yellow fever epidemic of 1871 caused them to abandon them. Years later they were occupied by immigrants who piled up in them in sad conditions and some ended up as "houses taken, " but today real estate agencies rub their hands at their imminent profitability. It is not for less.

By the way, it is not clear if the House Taken that Cortázar imagined was a chorizo ​​house or not, but we do know that reading this story is better than any Buenos Aires guide. How to listen to Juan Carlos Pallarols, living legend of San Telmo and master silversmith because caste comes to him, because in 1750 he opened the first Pallarols Workshop in Barcelona. Commissioned by Hermès, Dupont or Montblanc follow one another in his curriculum, but he is still a craftsman who accepts according to what orders and works in his house, the same one in which he receives us. A luxury.

Buenos Aires Restaurante Docks

Docks restaurant and cocktail bar. © Álvaro Laiz

After blessing the empanadillas and the Milanese on horseback –not suitable for cowards– of Pulpería Quilapán, photogenic and historical dining room, and crossing with Mafalda in the corner of Chile and Defense, we ended up seeing the double of Maradona (of the Maradona orondo, eye) in Caminito, where everything is photo and souvenir. The Buenos Aires were right but … it was necessary to see it.

Right next door, the mediaman Francis Mallmann offers in the restaurant Patagonia Sur a succession of his hits in an atmosphere of impeccable bohemia, also perhaps a little souvenir. But … you had to try it.


Colegiales, a residential neighborhood of flirty family houses, is today a truffled canvas of urban art with the signature of artists such as the Doma + Fase, Gualicho or Carpita Collective. The crisis of 2001, the well-known "corralito", caused the exaltation of a graffiti created not by marginality, but by the middle classes.

Buenos Aires tienda Bolivia

T-shirt in Bolivia store, one of the most popular Argentine firms. © Álvaro Laiz

Cecilia Quiles, from the Unión Gallery, talks about all this and more before crossing the elegant houses of Belgrano on the way to Narda Comedor, an ode to the vegetable and the kitchen of proximity. The desktop plays in San Isidro, a colony of glittering mansions next to the river known because here is Villa Ocampo, the house where the great intellectual Victoria Ocampo received so many: Federico García Lorca, Tagore, Stravinski, Cortázar …

Mythology of bookshelf in the city where, blessing, everyone reads, where bookstores bustle like Twitter here at rush hour. The farewell, in a big way, we celebrated with a large table in Mishiguene, appetizing and essential tribute of Thomas Kalika to the Jewish immigrant cuisine of the city.

The kelzmer music that, spontaneously, the waiters begin to play to the desserts, finishes telling us all that we wanted to see in Buenos Aires. So pretty, so everywhere and so yours, so dancing … So unparalleled.

* This article and the attached gallery was published in issue 116 of the Condé Nast Traveler Magazine (April). Subscribe to the print edition (11 printed numbers and digital version for € 24.75, calling 902 53 55 57 or from our website ) and enjoy free access to the digital version of Condé Nast Traveler for iPad. The April Condé Nast Traveler number is available in its digital version to enjoy on your preferred device.

Buenos Aires El Universal

El Universal Terrace. © Álvaro Laiz